U.S. won’t shoot down balloon spotted off coast of Hawaii

U.S. won’t shoot down balloon spotted off coast of Hawaii

After monitoring an unmanned balloon spotted off the coast of Hawaii over the weekend, U.S. officials have determined that “no action need be taken” to remove the mysterious unmanned object.

The Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Authority first spotted the object April 28, a DoD spokesperson said Monday. Though it is unclear whom the object belongs to, it did not appear that it was controlled by “a foreign or adversarial actor,” the spokesperson said.

“Based on these observations, the Secretary of Defense concurred with the recommendation of his military commanders that no action need be taken against the balloon,” the spokesperson said.

The balloon was flying at an altitude of 36,000 feet, and did not float over any sensitive government sites, or pose a threat to anyone on the ground.

As of Monday evening, the balloon was no longer in Hawaii’s airspace, or flying over U.S. territorial waters, the spokesperson said.

The government detected the balloon using “newly established parameters for monitoring U.S. airspace,” after a Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. airspace earlier this year. That balloon was dramatically shot down over the Atlantic Ocean in February, though not before causing a fracture in U.S.-China relations.

NBC was the first to report on the balloon.


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